Public screening of Ursula Mayer’s film ‘Atom Spirit’
• Thursday December 14, 2017, 5-8 pm at der TANK, Basel.
In the context of the Institute’s current exploration on how artistic practice and artistic research relates to nature, we are very happy to invite Ursula Mayer to teach a seminar on her work as well as to invite you to a public screening of her latest film ‘Atom Spirit’ (2016).
Originally conceived as a large-scale installation, the film is set in the Caribbean Island of Trinidad & Tobago. The decision to screen this particular work relates to how the film contributes to the comprehension of a context where where race, gender, postcolonialism and technology intersect. Mayer’s research offers, through different visual languages, an insight into the scientific, ecological and social discourses and spaces that perform altogether the reality of this country. Thus ‘Atom Spirit’ functions like an exercise to reflect on the contradictory forces and alliances at work among organic and cybernetic entities, tracing the legacies of colonialism and capital into our current moment of neoliberal dominance.
The film ‘Atom Spirit’ is a speculative narrative set in a near future of increasing biomedical innovation. It follows the work of a group of evolutionary geneticists studying and collecting DNA from all forms of life in order to create a cryogenically frozen Ark. ‘Atom Spirit’ presents a cyborgian future of techno-science in which the residual resonances of extinct civilisations is still felt. Through blending science and mythology ‘Atom Spirit’ ruminates upon the effects of computational and biological technologies on future iterations of humanity and the environment.
Ursula Mayer was born in Austria and lives and works between London and Vienna. Her internationally exhibited practice spans a range of media, including film, video and sculpture. Mayer interweaves myth, biopolitics and the semiotics of cinema to visualize and ruminate upon future post human ontology. Mayer graduated in 1996 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna and completed her MFA at Goldsmiths University London in 2004. Her work has received critical accolades, including the prestigious Derek Jarman Award 2014 for experimental film and the Otto Mauer Prize in 2007.
Recent exhibitions include, Salzburger Kunstverein; Mirrorcity at Hayward Gallery, London; SeMA Biennale Mediacity, Seoul; THE NEW HUMAN in Moderna Museet, Stockholm & Moderna Museet Malmoe; Tyneside Cinema Gallery, Newcastle; Audain Gallery, Vancouver; Tramway, Glasgow; Turner Contemporary, Margate; CCA Glasgow; Ursula-Blickle StiftungKraichtal, Germany; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Kunstverein Hamburg, Hamburg; Institute for Contemporary Art, London; SculptureCentre, New York; 21er Haus, Museum Belvedere, Vienna; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; 11th Baltic Triennial, CAC,Vilnius; Tanya Bonakdar gallery, New York; Whitechapel Gallery, London; Lentos Museum, Linz; TBA21, Vienna and the Kunsthalle in Basel. Upcoming solo shows include Vleeshal in Middelburg, and HOME, Manchester.